Raw chocolate with roasted almonds
Rapadura sweetened chocolate
You may have noticed I'm a bit of a chocolate addict - good chocolate, that is, not the cheap 'chocolate-flavoured' stuff - I love REAL chocolate, with cacao butter and 70% organic cocoa and natural sweeteners, if possible! As I mentioned in my first post about making my own chocolate, I really try and avoid refined sugar and soy (and dairy), and they are in most chocolates, even the 'healthy' ones. So I started making my own. They were okay, but not quite the right texture - it's hard to get Rapadura to mix in properly because of it's grainy texture. And not everyone likes the flavour of coconut oil.
Then I found this gluten-free, dairy-free recipe for Raw Chocolate made with cacao butter and raw cacao, and sweetened with agave syrup - I tried it, and really liked it... but I wanted to use Rapadura instead of agave because I thought the flavour would be better. So I played around with the recipe, and this is what I came up with. It's not quite as smooth and creamy as chocolate with soy emulsifiers in it, but it's all good, and I love the flavour! (I call it 'Almost Raw' Chocolate because Rapadura is not really 'raw', just very minimally processed at lower heats than refined sugar.) The more you let the chocolate stir, the smoother your chocolate will be - see the above photos for example: the almond one was stirred for 30-40 minutes, the plain Rapadura one was stirred for 60 minutes, and the texture is much better. And it's really no problem if you're using a Thermomix, because you can set it and walk away. You can use more or less sweetener and cacao to taste - as I said, I like mine DARK! Next time I think I'll make a Mexican version with chilli and cinnamon - mmmmm!
Note: I've added links to Australian suppliers of raw cacao butter (best option), and cocoa butter (if you want a cheaper option).
Make sure your bowl, blades, lid and lid seal are REALLY dry before you begin - water and chocolate don't mix!!!
1. Grind in Thermomix on speed 9 for 1 minute, until as fine as possible - scrape it down a couple of times with the spatula:
- 100g Rapadura
- 1 whole vanilla bean, cut in quarters (alternatively, you can use 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste added with the salt and any other flavourings at the end)
Remove to a bowl and set aside.
2. Place cacao butter in Thermomix bowl and melt at 37 degrees for 20 minutes on speed 1, until melted:
- 200g raw cacao butter, chopped in small pieces (if you can't get raw cacao butter, you can use cocoa butter)
Raw cacao butter
3. Add Rapadura & vanilla to bowl and continue cooking at 37 degrees, 10 - 20 minutes, speed 1.
4. Add cacao powder to bowl and combine on speed 6 until well mixed, scrape down sides, then continue to stir at 37 degrees, speed 1, for another 20 minutes:
- 80g raw cacao powder
5. Add salt and any flavourings you want and continue to stir on 37 degrees, speed 1, for another 10 minutes, or until smooth:
- 2 pinches good quality sea salt (eg. Himalayan, pre-ground)
- optional flavourings (eg. peppermint oil/ground dried chilli/ground cinnamon)
- optional extra sweetener - sometimes I add a 50g raw honey here if I want a sweeter, less dark tasting chocolate; or you could add a teaspoon of stevia powder if you like.
[NOTE: If you have trouble with your chocolate splitting, don't despair! Add 30g coconut cream (or regular cream if you're not dairy free) and mix in gently for a few seconds, until chocolate comes together and is smooth.]
6. Prepare a large rectangular tray/dish lined with baking paper and pour the chocolate in - it should be quite thin. If you'd like nuts or fruit in your chocolate, sprinkle them over the paper, then pour chocolate over the top. Place in the fridge to set (or freezer if you're like me and don't want to wait!). Here's some filling ideas:
- roasted nuts: hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts
- raw cacao nibs
- toasted, roughly chopped coffee beans
- dried fruit: cherries, blueberries,
- shredded coconut
- pretzels (I like to drizzle the choc over gf pretzels)
- a mixture of above fillings!